Full 2014 Volkswagen Eos Review
What's New for 2014
The 2014 Volkswagen Eos comes standard with VW's new Car-Net telematics system, which includes security and convenience features like roadside assistance and remote vehicle access. Trim levels and equipment are also revised this year.
The Volkswagen Eos is named for the ancient Greek goddess of the dawn, whose team of horses, Lampos and Phaethon, pulled her chariot every morning to open the gates of heaven so her brother Helios, the sun, could travel through the sky bringing forth daylight.
It turns out to be an apt name, since the VW Eos is a convertible. It's a good one, too, with a rich, well-built, four-passenger interior that's nicely sealed off from both wind noise and the elements by a standard retractable hardtop. As for that team of horses, the 2014 Volkswagen Eos's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine provides punchy performance while returning good fuel economy. This, along with the car's relaxed ride, makes it a natural for road trips, whether you leave the top up or put it down.
All of this should make the Volkswagen Eos a popular convertible, but it has never been a great sales success. In part, this may be due to its understated personality: The Eos looks nice enough in your driveway, but nothing about its styling or its handling characteristics excites or inspires like a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro, 2014 Ford Mustang or even VW's own Beetle convertible -- all of which are less expensive to boot.
There's also a practical aspect to consider. The Eos' backseat doesn't offer much space for adults or teenagers, which might lead you to a roomier option like the 2014 Chrysler 200. Finally, consumers willing to spend just a bit more might find a better-performing, luxury-brand convertible like the 2014 Audi A5 more appealing.
On the other hand, apart from the A5, none of these competitors is as polished on the inside as the 2014 Volkswagen Eos, and only the Chrysler can even be optioned with a retractable hardtop. For these reasons, we continue to recommend this goddess-of-the-dawn convertible to shoppers who are more interested in a comfortable, refined driving experience than trendy design or sporty handling.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Volkswagen Eos is a four-passenger convertible with a retractable hardtop roof. There are three trim levels: Komfort, Sport and Executive.
The Komfort comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated mirrors and windshield washer nozzles, a sunroof, a wind deflector, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette (vinyl) upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with four-way power-adjustable lumbar support), heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. Also standard is an eight-speaker sound system with a touchscreen interface, voice-controlled navigation, a six-CD changer, satellite radio, an iPod interface, an auxiliary audio jack and VW's Car-Net telematics service.
The Sport model adds 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, a rear spoiler, keyless entry/ignition, brushed aluminum trim on the pedals and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The Executive model has all of the Sport's equipment, save for the spoiler and paddle shifters. It then adds different 18-inch wheels, automatic wipers, parking sensors, power-folding outside mirrors, an eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat (with power lumbar), leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an upgraded navigation system with a larger touchscreen display, a rearview camera, HD radio and a premium Dynaudio 10-speaker sound system.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2014 VW Eos is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automated manual transmission (known as DSG) sends power to the front wheels.
VW estimates that the Eos will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds, which is average for a convertible in this price range. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway).
The 2014 Volkswagen Eos comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, pop-up rollover bars and front side airbags that extend upward for head protection. A rearview camera and parking sensors are standard on the Executive trim level. Standard on all Eos models, VW's new Car-Net telematics system includes automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote vehicle access, stolen vehicle location and geo-fencing (which allows parents to set boundaries for teenage drivers). A Car-Net smartphone app lets owners control many of these functions on the go.
In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, the VW Eos earned a top rating of "Good" for both the moderate-overlap frontal-offset and side-impact tests. It also earned a Good rating for its seat/head restraint design in the Institute's rear-impact testing.
Interior Design and Special Features
With a five-piece retractable hardtop (which includes an integrated tilting/sliding sunroof), the Eos is a convertible when you want it to be and a hardtop coupe when you don't. For full sun exposure, the top retracts in 25 seconds (it requires 16 inches of clearance behind the rear bumper to operate; rear sensors sound if you don't have enough room). Open or enclosed, the cabin features high-quality materials and excellent overall fit and finish.
Front passengers will find the Eos spacious enough, but adults in the backseat won't want to stay there long, since the hardtop mechanism forces the backrest to a more upright angle). There isn't much storage space either. When folded into the trunk, the retractable top leaves a roadster-like 6.6 cubic feet of cargo space. With the top up, trunk capacity increases to 10.5 cubes.
The base touchscreen interface in Komfort and Sport works pretty well from an audio standpoint (the iPod interface is particularly well designed), but navigation functionality is hampered by the screen's small size. The Executive model features a usefully larger screen, but we've found this higher-end interface slower to process commands whether you're changing a radio station or entering a destination.
The 2014 Volkswagen Eos is for drivers who want a relaxed touring convertible rather than a sporty one. Whether you're cruising the boulevards or coastal highways, the Eos delivers a comfortable and composed ride. And when the weather prevents top-down motoring, the retractable hardtop provides coupelike isolation from both weather and noise. If you like to drive the back roads on occasion, we'd steer you toward the Sport and Executive models, which have a sport-tuned suspension that gives the car better balance around turns.
The Eos is a relatively heavy car for its size, so its turbocharged four-cylinder engine doesn't feel quite as potent as it does in, say, VW's GTI. Nevertheless, there's plenty of power here for around-town acceleration and highway passing.